Review: Delta Elite Cross-Draw Vest
|Review: Delta Elite Cross-Draw Vest|
IntroMost of us have been here, going through an OP without an efficient means of gear storage, magazines falling out of pockets, and cargo pockets so full they swing when you run. After enough experiences like this, I decided to purchase a vest. The variety of vests and rigs is dizzying, and I soon decided I needed to write down what I wanted in a vest. This included storage for up to 3 G3 magazines, 4 pistol magazines, a radio, a spot for my multi-tool, and a place for some smoke grenades, but most importantly it had to be affordable.
The ResultsThe Warhead/Delta Elite Cross-Draw Vest was just what the doctor ordered. This vest sports mesh construction, which is perfect for hot days, and a good amount of Velcro closure pouches and other features. The vest is available in two colors; woodland camo and black. Priced between $50-$80, this vest is a good deal.
4 Primary magazine pouches; These hold 4 G3, G36, SIG55x, or AUG magazines (1 per pouch), 8 M16, Beita Spetsnaz Hi-cap's or FAMAS magazines (2 per pouch), or 12 MP5 Magazines (3 per pouch, but it's going to be tight)
6 Pouches for standard capacity handgun magazines; 2 of which are Velcroed to the web belt.
1 Multipurpose pouch on the left shoulder, which holds a multi-tool, small radio, another handgun magazine, or a small bottle of bb’s.
1 Medium sized pouch on the right side can hold a small radio, 2-3 spare large 7-cell batteries, a 3750 round bag of .2g bb’s, shells for your shotgun, or any other small bits of gear.
2 Large mesh zipper pockets are found on the inside of the vest. They measure 12 inches long by 8 ½ inches high.
1 Gigantic mesh zipper pocket on the inside of the vest, which takes up the entire back of the vest. It too, has a Velcro closure at the top.
As you know, the vest has a cross-draw holster. This holster is both Velcroed and tethered to the vest. The holster can be removed from the vest and repositioned to the angle that fits you best. If the holster gets hung up on something, it can pull off the vest, but won't fall to the ground because it’s still attached to the vest by the tethers. A thumb break type strap that snaps to the holster has a clasp that retains the pistol and allows you to pull out your sidearm silently.
When you first get the vest, you will have a hard time getting a gun to fit the holster. Just jam it in there and leave it for a few days so the holster can loosen up. One drawback to this holster is that it won't fit handguns with attachments on them, such as a 1911 with a rail mounted laser or flashlight. The holster easily accepts 1911 style .45s, USPs, Glocks, Berettas, the KJW Mk1 and a myriad of others, including large frame revolvers, such as the Tanaka S&W M629 6.5 inch. The holster is too small for the Mk.23 and possibly the Desert Eagle.
The right shoulder features a no-slip pad for the butt of your rifle, this pad has a piece of tubing under it to keep the rifle firmly on your shoulder.
The included web belt is adjustable to 45 ½ inches, has a tough, plastic buckle and 2 attached magazine pouches. The pistol magazine pouches that are attached to the web belt are nice, but are somewhat clumsy to use because the flap used to keep the magazines in the pouch is a bit too rigid.
The vest can be adjusted in numerous ways. The length is adjusted by pulling up on the Velcro shoulder straps, then Velcroing them in the best position. I do have a complaint about this Velcro system; shorter people need to adjust the straps to the point where very little Velcro may be keeping the vest at the proper length, and it may slip down if the Velcro lets go. The width of the vest is adjustable by 3 straps on each side of the vest. The primary magazine pouches have steel drain holes, just in case you wanted to go swimming with all your gear on. The web belt is attached to the vest by loops that both Velcro and snap around the belt.
The mesh that the vest is made of is thick and durable, the stitching seems tough, and the vest feels rugged. The overall camouflage pattern of the vest matches most woodland patterns pretty well, but is a bit too brown to be a perfect match, a black version is available for CQB players.
The back of the vest has attachment points for almost any LBV pouches or a Camelback canteen. It also has a drag handle, though I doubt it would be useful for airsoft, and it seems cheaply attached.
After the vest sat in my room for 3 weeks, the day came when I finally got to use it in combat.
The first thing I noticed was just how easy it was to move around in. It fits really well, and you don't really notice that it's there until you take it off and you feel lighter. Mag changes are simple, as the pouches open easily and the spent mag can be dropped in with little effort, though a dump pouch would work better.
Going prone is fairly comfortable, though you still have a lot of stuff poking you in the chest, but what did you expect when you put all that gear on your chest?
As expected the large mesh pockets are pretty much useless in a skirmish, as you have to open the vest to use them. However, they are nice for carrying things you don't want to leave at camp, like your wallet or keys.
The cross-draw holster is a very nice feature, but I have to complain about the thumb break. You can't grab your sidearm and pull it straight out. The reason for this is because the snap is just too strong; you just end up running around, pulling on the gun and your vest like an idiot.
OverallThis is a great vest for all but the most hardcore airsoft players. The arrangement of the pouches is nearly perfect, and you never have anything in the way. A slung weapon can be discarded without blocking any of your handgun pouches; a nice feature for those who only use low caps or are forced to use a mini battery. While looking around, I have come to the conclusion that the Warhead and UTG vests are the same; UTG simply puts a patch on the upper left pouch.